A Keening

Rayanne Haines


There is this place in my chest where rocks
grow moss. A hollow burden.

I’m waiting now for the wind.
A gentle sea breeze. A clearing of the dust – the rot.

I want to lay my body in the ocean.
Spread my arms and legs

wide. Flood wounds with saltwater.
Wash out this echo in my gut.

This is about surviving, submerging
as waves tangle my tresses among seaweed.

You see – I cannot bear the weight
of hair on scalp, the substance of ache

— of your pain. Can we reinvent silence after
sound? Erase the anger of your feet

on the stairs that night. The door closing.
Can you find solace on parched ground?

Let seagulls carry shadows from your breast
before you breach, my son, before you choose death.

Can we swim? Quiet. Hands clasped.

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Rayanne Haines is writing her way through grief and healing. You can find out more online at rayannehaines.com or Twitter, and follow her poetry podcast series @lets_lit

PoetryJeremy Bibaud